Mission & Vision: Newsletter
Mission Statement - Say It With Passion
Let's assume that your Executive Summary clearly outlines your
idea, business concept, opportunity, market, management team, and
Let's also assume that it's grabbed the attention
of your reader/investor and has inspired them to read on.
your reader quickly flips past your Table of Contents and glances at your
company's Mission Statement.
What will they read?
Is it compelling? Exciting?
it give them the impression that your company and you are more than just
business oriented, but also passionate?
What does it tell your reader
about you, your company, and your chances of future success?
And will it
stick in their mind as they read through the other sections of your
If you can answer yes to these questions, then your mission
statement has done its job.
Keep in mind that you don't want to put the carriage
before the horse in regards to the relationship between your mission
statement and your business plan.
In many ways, your business plan (i.e.
your business) should develop BECAUSE you have a mission, not because the
mission is a section in your business plan.
A great mission statement will not make up for a poor
business plan in the eyes of investors, but an undefined and uninspired
mission statement may lead an investor to think twice about the quality of
your business and it's goals.
This month's issue of BizPlanIt's Newsletter
offers brief suggestions and tips to prepare and incorporate an effective
mission statement into your business plan.
A mission statement isn't just for the readers of your
Instead it should be viewed as the guiding principle for
your entire business.
It tells you, your company, your employees, your
vendors, your customers, your investors, and your lenders what your goal
is, what you stand for, and where you're headed.
Essentially, your mission
statement defines your company's values and outlines your organizational
purpose and "reason for being".
A solid business plan is organized to convey
information to outsiders about the nature and intentions of your business.
A clear mission statement serves as the "guiding light" of your business
plan, powerfully condensing the message you want to send to the reader.
A good mission statement is compelling, passionate,
It should be risky and challenging, but also achievable.
If it falls between "we can't do it", but "we will do it anyway" then
you're on the right track.
Also remember that a mission statement isn't
written in stone, and is likely to change over time as a business grows
and market conditions change.
Think of your mission statement like a race;
give it a clearly defined finish line and determine a time period when it
will be achieved.
Writing a mission statement can be a difficult and
If you don't know what you stand for and what your
company believes in, then it's impossible.
If you don't know what
principles you operate from and how you will treat those who come in
contact with your company, then it's impossible.
If you're not excited
about what you are doing and lack a passion for your product or service,
then it's impossible.
Instead of trying to just "write it" or "get it
done", devote some serious thought and soul searching to your mission
It must boldly state what you, your company, and it's future
are all about - and it's worth the effort.
A mission statement should require little or no
explanation, and its length is less important than it's power.
Nike's now famous mission statements was:
It requires no explanation, but it motivates everyone
associated with Nike, and the objective is unmistakable.
could have stated their mission as, "to be the best shoe company with the
best customer service", but that would have done little to inspire the
Don't make that mistake with your own mission statement - make it
passionate and inspiring, not bland and boring.
Consider two other famous examples:
- PEPSI - "Beat Coke"
- HONDA - "We will crush, squash, and slaughter
Attempt to keep your mission statement simple, but
this doesn't necessarily mean it should be short.
Try limiting it to one
paragraph, although it could vary anywhere from one sentence to a full
Every mission statement should be different.
try to use one of the examples above or one that resembles the flavor of
your closest competitor.
Instead write a mission statement that reflects
your individuality, creativity, and uniqueness.
Use a tone that best reflects the culture of your
company, and get as many people as possible involved in its construction.
If everyone doesn't buy into your mission statement, then it will not
effectively shape your company and its actions, and thus it will lose its
So if someone reads your mission statement and comments
"great, but who cares" consider rewriting it and adding some passion.
passion and excitement you demonstrate in your mission statement will
carry over not only to the rest of your business plan, but also into the
day to day operations of your company.